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Local Resident Named One of ‘50 Most Influential Rabbis’

By John Loesing, Thousand Oaks Acorn. 29, July, 2010
“The Sisterhood,” the women’s issues blog of the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, recently compiled a list of the 50 most influential women rabbis in America and included Rebecca Dubowe of Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks.
After being ordained in 1993 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Reform, Dubowe became the nation’s first deaf female rabbi.
“I was truly flattered when I received the good news because to be recognized among this remarkable group of inspirational women rabbis and leaders is an honor, as these women have been my own role models throughout my rabbinic career,” said Dubowe, a 47-year-old resident of Agoura Hills.
The inaugural Sisterhood list was said to be in response to this year’s Newsweek magazine’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis” list, which contained only six women, mostly in the bottom half of the rankings.
The Sisterhood list also added five women from Israel.
“This alphabetical list contains a lot of ‘firsts,’ which is evidence of just how much ground there’s been to break in recent years,” said Gabrielle Birkner, author of “The Sisterhood 50: America’s Influential Women Rabbis.”
“These women span generations and the denominational spectrum; they are pulpit rabbis, teachers, academics, pastoral caregivers and organizational leaders. All of them have made it their life’s work to put Jewish values into action— and, as a result, are changing lives in and beyond their communities,” Birkner said.
Dubowe is the rabbi at Adat Elohim, the Reform congregation in T.O. She said one of her goals is to make the temple accessible to all.
“This includes the importance of outreach and acknowledging diversity within our community,” Dubowe said. “The house of God is always welcoming, yet the challenge remains because some doors are not easily open. My hope is to inspire and encourage people to celebrate Judaism.”
The Jewish Daily Forward was founded in 1897 in New York City. It is still published on a weekly basis in both English and Yiddish.
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